The Murderer (Part I)
I take the murderer for coffee.
‘Make sure you don’t murder your coffee!’
I joke. He likes my jokes.
Later I swing a plank into his face:
This is to stop him enjoying himself —
Which is integral to the rehabilitation process.
His mouth trickles blood like a tap quarter-turned.
He likes my analogies. ‘Hey, Murderer!’
I yell, ‘Murdered anyone recently?’
The murderer likes to play badminton.
When he loses, I say, ‘That’s what you get for being a murderer.’
When he wins, I say,
‘I guess you got yourself in pretty good shape
Murdering all those people.’
I’m not about to let the murderer forget he’s a murderer.
When I dance with the murderer I let him lead
Because he is the more proficient dancer —
‘Just be careful not to murder me!’ I tease.
The prison sits on the horizon like a great ash-tray —
When we travel I give him the window seat.
‘Hey, murderer, would you like a sandwich?’ I say,
‘Or would you rather murder someone?’
The murderer eats his cheese and ham sandwich.
‘The forecast is for snow,’ I tell him.
from The Harbour Beyond the Movie (Salt, 2007, © Luke Kennard 2007), used by permission of the author and the publisher.